Free PPC Tools that make life, fun…

Thanks to Melissa Mackey with SEW for mentioning some of the not-so-obvious PPC / SEM / Paid Search tools out there that make life more, well… fun (aka – giving you the time back in your day so that you can actually go off the grid for a minute or two).   She highlights 23 free tools like;

  • Uber Suggest (keyword suggestions outside of keyword planner)
  • Soovle (search results on various engines)
  • Convertable (lead source & keyword tracking)

…and more in her article on SEW.

8 UX Tools Every Digital Marketer Needs

Testing, testing, testing.  One thing reigns true – with marketing, everything is a test – as part of active, ongoing optimization to constantly improve ROI performance (that should be in a stuffy ‘Marketing 101’ book somewhere).  Erin Everhart with SEW pulled together a nice list on UX tools we should all embrace – with a few I added from experience;

10 points to Google for incorporating a Justin Timberlake look-alike in the homepage visual on Consumer Surveys (they’ve obviously been testing & personalizing that page just for me).

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Creating a Culture of Content

Creating a Culture of Content is a never-ending task that I see in almost every marketing organization that has taken the social media and SEO bull by the horns.  Enlisting support and consideration from every aspect of enterprise business is critical – and – Altimeter Group does a great job of visualizing the pieces that need to come together.  Better yet, they’ve also provided a framework for a Content Marketing Platform RFP – filled with requirements you can apply to any talent-driven or technology-enabled process.

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Content & B2B Social Selling

Altimeter Group‘s Rebecca Lieb provides very simple, yet useful perspective on the role of content in B2B social selling – or – what you could also consider as the most valuable use for social media in a B2B business (supporting sales), where content is key;

Without “content,” all you have left in social sales is “social,” i.e., a platform, a forum or a social network. Devoid of content, all these channels amount to empty containers.

She provides some great tips to start right with strategy first;

  1. Align Content to the Sales Funnel
  2. Empower Staff to Curate & Aggregate
  3. Listen & Respond
  4. Apply Metrics (to measure performance)
  5. Build Social Sales Content into the Overall Content Strategy
  6. Train (and educate internal staff and execs)
  7. Hire Accordingly (you’ll need the extra help)

Lastly, it’s helpful to know that if you are in the conundrum of ‘what to do with social media for my anti-social B2B business’, you’re not alone.  Consider this an opportunity to blast ahead of the competition.

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Grainger & B2B Biz – Discovery Marketing

W. W. Grainger, No. 15 on the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, provided some great insight to Internet Retailer as to how they make online marketing work for B2B – and that it generates more than 30% of all sales ($2.7 billion online).  Here are a couple tactics that have made their B2B tic;

  • Paid Search (6M keywords for 1M products)
  • Invested Value in Search Marketing and SEO
  • Highly Targeted Emails (less volume, more target)
  • Big Data (using online data to inform offline sales, esp. with shopping cart abandonment rates)

It’s marketing strategy and understanding like this that KEEPS them at the top as the largest retailer of maintenance, repair and operations supplier.

“We don’t really go after customers online,” vice president of e-commerce Paul Miller told attendees today at the B2B Multichannel conference in Phoenix. “If we’re doing our job right, they should be finding us.”

“If they can’t find us or can’t get to our site, all the rest of the equation falls off,” Miller says. “We make sure to ask where the customer is when they start their journey and try to be relevant in that search. You can’t underestimate the importance of those first parts of the journey.”

…it sounds like they have a true understanding of what’s up next, Discovery Marketing.